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One of Enda Kenny's biggest critics in Fine Gael has just got a promotion

John Deasy is the new vice chairman of the Public Accounts Committee.

John Deasy at the Public Accounts Committee this morning
John Deasy at the Public Accounts Committee this morning
Image: Oireachtas TV

FINE GAEL TD John Deasy has been elected vice chairman of the Dáil’s powerful Public Accounts Committee this morning.

The Waterford deputy has been an outspoken critic of Taoiseach Enda Kenny for several years and most recently said that “people are becoming disgusted with the way Fine Gael is being run”.

Deasy launched the unprecendeted attack on Kenny’s leadership following the controversy over Seanad byelection candidate John McNulty earlier this year.

He said that there is an “atmosphere of total non-criticism” within the party and said that the Taoiseach was at the heart of Fine Gael’s problems.

On Kenny, Deasy said: “The Taoiseach, who likes to give his mobile phone number out to the world, doesn’t really engage or entertain criticism.”

This morning’s meeting of the PAC elected Deasy vice chair in the wake of Fine Gael colleague Kieran O’Donnell’s move to the committee investigating the banking collapse.

He was supported by his fellow Fine Gael TDs on the committee Patrick O’Donovan, John Perry, Paul Connaughton and Gabrielle McFadden and sources say the move will be seen as Kenny’s attempt to appease party backbenchers who have privately criticised his leadership.

The outspoken Deasy was first elected to the Dáil in 2002 but has had an uneasy relationship with the party leadership for over a decade.

He previously clashed with Kenny when he was sacked as frontbench spokesperson on justice in 2004 after lighting a cigarette in the Dáil bar just days after the smoking ban came into effect.

He was later appointed deputy spokesperson on foreign affairs but Deasy did not back Kenny in the attempted heave by Richard Bruton in 2010 and has been on the fringes of the party ever since.

Read: ‘People are becoming disgusted with the way Fine Gael is being run,’ says… Fine Gael TD

About the author:

Hugh O'Connell

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